This is not going to be a regular thing. But anyways:
1. The Prince George Citizen has published a case study in the merits of going forward with a story when facts have not been fully verified. In the article “Former Citizen staffer linked to shooting" Peter James writes:
“The Canadian man who killed two people in a courtroom in the Philippines on Tuesday before being gunned down by police likely worked at the Prince George Citizen three decades ago.” (emphasis mine)
the article goes on to explain that though have not received any official confirmation, they have reasons to believe it is the same person. This is followed by first-hand accounts of what the John Pope who worked at the Citizen was like (whether or not he is indeed the same John Pope involved in the shooting). That raised questions at my own office, but obviously the staff there feel confident enough it’s the same person that they opted to publish the story (as can be seen in those links).
If they turn out to be correct, then they have successfully scooped a story. But if they are incorrect and the John Pope who worked out the Citizen is not responsible for two deaths in the Phillipines it’s a whole other kettle of fish.
I’d also like to point out something that is all-too-rare: editor Neil Godbout is in the comments section, responding to people’s questions and criticism. Good on him.
update, a day later: “a former colleague who used to receive letters in the mail from Pope identified his signature from a Manitoba driver’s licence released by Filipino police.”
2. Opinion250 is writing about mayor Shari Green’s Task Force on Crime. The lede:
The Mayor of Prince George has launched her Task Force on Crime, and it would seem she has more than “borrowed” a page from the Surrey Crime Reduction Strategy which was implemented in 2006.
It goes on to demonstrate how similar Mayor Green’s plan is to Surrey’s plan. Which… makes sense? Given that Green straight-up said she was going to be basing it on Surrey’s plans? The first job the task force has is to study Surrey’s model. I guess I’m just confused as to why this article is written as if it’s uncovered something hidden, when it’s been front-and-center from day one.
3. But elsewhere, Opinion250 is putting its investigative plans out in public. After Brian Skakun was denied his request to find out the reasons for nearly a million dollars worth of contracts (by the way, that council meeting was really something - item G2) the online news agency has announced plans to file an FOI request to get that information.
The irony in the above is that more than one member of council was upset that Skakun’s request was an opportunity for media and the public to speculate and imply that this information was being hidden and something sinister was going on. They also said it was a waste of staff time (and city money) to go collecting the information for Skakun. Now they have to waste that time and money anyways to respond to 250’s request, AND people still get to speculate that there is something sinister going on while the request is being processed. May have been simpler to just adopt Skakun’s motion.